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Nurse Maritza Perez gives a COVID-19 test in Anaheim, California, in July 9. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The number of U.S. coronavirus cases exceeded 4 million on Thursday, Johns Hopkins data illustrates.

Why it matters: President Trump is pushing to reopen schools and return the U.S. economy to pre-pandemic normalcy. But infection numbers are rising and coronavirus hospitalizations have surged nationwide, adding to the pressure of a health care system that's been under immense strain for months. More than 143,000 Americans have died to date from COVID-19.

Go deeper: In photos: Life in the era of the coronavirus pandemic

Go deeper

Oct 30, 2020 - World

Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of COVID-19 cases

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Photo: THIERRY ROGE/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Belgium is enforcing a strict lockdown starting Sunday amid rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and a surge of deaths, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Friday.

Why it matters: De Croo said the government saw no choice but to lock down "to ensure that our health care system does not collapse." Scientists and health officials said deaths have doubled every six days, per the Guardian.

Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021

Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo (left) and The Conference Board chief economist Dana Peterson. Photo: Axios

The economy will not return to the "pre-pandemic level of activity" until the fourth quarter of 2021, the chief economist at the Conference Board, Dana Peterson, said in an Axios virtual event on Friday, foreseeing "many more quarters of weakness."

Why it matters: Peterson said the economy's recovery will depend on governments reopening businesses and "allowing mobility both internally and externally," as well as on the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy.
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker

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